Research Handbook on Climate Change and Agricultural Law
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Research Handbook on Climate Change and Agricultural Law

Edited by Mary Jane Angelo and Anél Du Plesis

Bringing together scholars from across the globe, this timely book astutely untangles the climate-food web and critically explores the nexus between climate change, agriculture and law, upon which food security and climate resilient development depends.
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Chapter 11: Agriculture and payments for ecosystem services in the era of climate change

JB Ruhl

Abstract

Programs to pay for ecosystem services from agricultural lands (AgPES) are designed to provide incentives to change on-farm practices and thereby rebalance the ecosystem services profile to increase off-farm flows of regulating and supporting services such as groundwater recharge, sediment control and pollination. This chapter focuses primarily on the legal details of AgPES program design with special attention to their potential role in climate change adaptation. The chapter first provides brief overviews of the ecosystem services framework and the design basics of AgPES programs. It then turns to the promise and challenges of AgPES programs in light of climate change adaptation policy. In closing, the chapter suggests some of the legal questions that should be asked and answered when using AgPES as a climate change adaptation policy instrument. Key Words: ecosystem services, agriculture, payment for ecosystem services, climate change adaptation

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